Research Opportunities

All Fields

Honors Program Capstone Project

Yes, the NMSU University Honors Program is a research program!  The full University Honors Program culminates in either in a senior capstone research project or internship conducted under the supervision of faculty mentor and overseen by the Dean of Honors. All students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher are eligible to complete a thesis or internship through the Honors College.  Those with a GPA below 3.5 can petition the Dean of Honors to make their case for waiving the minimum GPA.  Students already completing a thesis for their major can also arrange with the Honors College in advance to satisfy the requirements for Honors capstone credit.  

Honors projects can vary widely, depending on the students' interests and proposed approaches. All Honors capstones will:

  • Be a significant project beyond the work completed in a standard three credit class
  • Be proposed in advance with approval from an advisor and/or the Honors Office
  • Require work at a high level (early professional level) appropriate to the field
  • Generate an original final product that can be submitted to the Honors Office for documentation
  • Be shared with others beyond the advisor and Honors Office
  • Be a useful enterprise that elevates student achievement with preparation for next steps beyond NMSU

Discovery Scholars, College of Arts and Sciences

The Discovery Scholars Program (DSP) was founded in 2014 as a college-wide celebration of undergraduate scholarship. DSP aims to nurture undergraduate discovery through research with faculty mentors and encourage students to continue their education in graduate or professional school. Any College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate who is engaged in scholarship with faculty guidance outside of regular class activities can join the program as a DSP Scholar. Scholars may be supported by other undergraduate research programs (e.g., MARC, AMP, PARC, or BRIDGES), working on an Honors College thesis, or even working independently with a faculty mentor. While working to complete their project, DSP Scholars also identify and work toward the completion of different benchmarks, which DSP celebrates along the way with DSP swag. DSP scholars and mentors receive a T-shirt when they enter the program, messenger bags and hoodies after completing portions of the benchmarks, and a graduation stole upon completion.

Your Field

1250718430_fullres_serrano_elba_lab_3_052303.jpegFaculty at NMSU are productive scholars as well as teachers.  Professors in your field are engaged in research and creative projects, and some are able to include and mentor undergraduate reesearchers through direct engagement with this faculty-led work. Check out the faculty pages on your department website.  These will describe topics and projects on which your faculty are currently working, often with links to websites for their labs, studios, institutes, programs, or performance calendars. Also look at faculty pages for other departments that are adjacent to your own or that just really interest you. You may be amazed at what your instructors are working on.


Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring and Regents Professor Elba Serrano works with students in her neuroscience lab. Photo: Darren Phillips.




Now, how do you get involved? You may already have met some of these scholars in your field as instructors or speakers. If not, don't worry. Either way, visit their office hours and introduce yourself. Ask how you can get involved in scholarly activity in your field. If you haven't seen their office hours posted in the halls, ask in the main office of your department where and when they hold office hours. Drop in! This is what office hours are for. If this is terrifying to you, try emailing. But nothing beats saying hello in person.

Coming soon will be a page with some dedicated faculty mentors who have worked with undergraduate students as researchers and creators in the past.  Watch this space!


STEM Opportunities

New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation (AMP) 

A Partnership of 14 Institutions statewide, with NMSU serving as the Lead Institution, the STEM AMP program is a partnership of the state's two-and four-year colleges and universities, with a primary goal of increasing the number of B.S. degrees awarded to underrepresented students in New Mexico. AMP offers: 

  • Scholarships and research assistantships through programs such as STEM Prep, Undergraduate Research Scholars, Transfer Scholarship, and International Research and Education Participation 
  • Professional development opportunities 
  • Support to present research in statewide symposiums 

To be eligible for participation in AMP you must be enrolled at a New Mexico community college or four-year university. Additional requirements vary by program. 

New Mexico IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) 

INBRE is a statewide network that encourages the development of innovative research environments for students engaging health initiatives, and basic, clinical, and translational research in New Mexico. INBRE offers three summer experiences: 

  • NISE-Prep - a research laboratory experience for students without previous experience 
  • NISE-Bootcamp - a laboratory- and lecture-based program for students with little to no research experience 
  • NISE-Internship - an independent biomedical research experience for advanced students 

To be eligible for participation in INBRE, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and must have full-time summer availability (cannot be enrolled in summer classes). 

Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) 

MARC was established in 1975 to increase the numbers of underrepresented groups in the biomedical and behavioral sciences and to diversify the research workforce. The MARC program at NMSU has been funded since 1977 to aid students obtaining advanced degrees in the biomedical research sciences through support and training. MARC offers: 

  • Approximately 18 Undergraduate Scholars positions 
  • Support to present research at national professional conferences 
  • Various workshops throughout the year 
  • Special courses to earn honors credits 
  • Summer research opportunities at leading institutions around the country

To be eligible for MARC you must be an NMSU student enrolled in at least 15 credits, have a minimum 3.2 GPA, and have two years remaining. Students must also be majoring in one of the following: Animal & Range Science, Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Entomology Plant Pathology & Weed Sciences, Fishery & Wildlife Science, Genetics, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Chemical Engineering, and Physics. 

Partnership for the Advancement of Cancer Research (PACR) 

PACR is a collaboration between NMSU and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Together, we are dedicated to improving cancer health equity by providing opportunities for research, education, training, and community engagement for underserved populations in the U.S. Southwest and Pacific Northwest. PACR offers: 

  • Summer Undergraduate Research Program 
  • Cancer Research Internship for Graduate Students 
  • Funding for conference presentations 
  • Undergraduate and graduate student positions in research projects and labs 
  • Workshops and lectures open to all students 

To be eligible to participate in PACR programs you must be a full-time student at NMSU. Internships are available to juniors, seniors and graduate students with U.S. citizenship only. Students interested in public health and biomedical research are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Internships & Summer Opportunities

Pathways to Science Database of National Opportunities in STEM

The national non-profit Institute for Broadening Participation (IBP) aims to increase access to STEM education and careers for diverse underrepresented groups. The group hosts a database of internships, scholarships, and summer research programs that is searchable by field, location, and more. See .

National Science Foundation: Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)

Many summer and some term-time research opportunities are funded by the NSF at sites around the country and some international locations.  In an REU, about 10 undergraduates work closely with faculty and other reseachers on ongoing research projects.  Each student focuses on a specific research project.  Students receive stipends and, in many cases, assistance with housing and travel.  Undergraduate students supported with NSF funds must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions. To find an opportunity, go to Search for an REU Site. You may search by keyword for particular research topics or locations.  Click on the links for the individual REU sites for information and application materials. NSF does not have application materials and does not select student participants. A contact person and contact information is listed for each site. 

Several important summer REUs are are coordinated by NMSU faculty!  

The NSF-REU Collaborative Site Program on Immigration Policy and US-Mexico Border Communities is designed to provide undergraduate students with training in research methods and opportunities to conduct collaborative projects with community partners on the nature and impacts of US immigration policy in the Paso del Norte borderlands region of Las Cruces-El Paso-Ciudad Juárez. 
From 2017 to 2021, 30 undergraduate students from NMSU, UTEP and around the United States have participated in 10-week summer programs. For more information, see . Contact: Dr. Neil Harvey, NMSU Department of Government (
The goal of this REU site initiative (BIGDatA- BIG DatAnalytics for Cyber-physical Systems) is to inspire and prepare undergraduate students to pursue academic studies and careers in STEM with a focus on big data analytics for cyber-physical systems (CPS).
The site’s research projects will focus on equipping students with skills and knowledge related to big data analytics in CPS. The CPS will be exemplified by four main application areas: smart grids, wireless sensor networks, smart homes for the elderly and disabled, and disaster response. For more information, see the website at . Contact: Dr. Huiping Cao, Department of Computer Science ( or Dr. Tuan Le, Department of Computer Science (
Jornada Basin LTER was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the causes and consequences of desertification through long-term research. The Jornada Basin LTER has funding to support a modest number of undergraduate research (JRN-REU) fellowships each summer. Students will work with mentors associated with JRN-LTER or NMSU on research related to Jornada LTER research themes.  For about the REU program, please see the 2021 flier and application form.  Contact:Niall Hanan ( and Nina Joffe (

Biomedical Summer Undergraduate Research Program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Fred Hutch)

The Summer Undergraduate Research Program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Fred Hutch) is an intensive, nine-week internship designed to provide research experience and mentorship for undergraduate students who are interested in biomedical research. Under the guidance of a faculty mentor, students will complete an independent research project and present their findings at a competitive poster session. The 2022 program runs from Monday, June 13 through Friday, August 12. Students must be able to commit to this entire period in order to participate. Eligible students are U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are enring the summer before their final year or semester of undergraduate studies.  Applicants should have a strong background in the sciences or related area of interest. 

A catalog of internships for high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, graduate, and first-year medical students offered nationwide can be accessed at: 

To apply, submit an application at The application deadline is Friday, January 7, 2022. Letters of recommendation for up to two references are due by Friday, January 14, 2022. Notification of acceptance will occur in mid- to late-February. 

Johns Hopkins University Humanities Collaboratory for Community College Students

Johns Hopkins University will host a fully-funded summer research program for community college students working in humanities disciplines from June 1-August 6, 2022.  The program is nationally recognized, highly pedagogically innovative, and a proven success. It’s funded by the Mellon Foundation and will provide students with a generous summer stipend of $5750 for ten weeks of full-time mentored research. Required on-campus housing at our beautiful Baltimore campus is included in the award, in addition to the stipend at no cost to the student. The program is nationally recognized, highly pedagogically innovative, and a proven success. It boasts an over a 90% transfer rate for past participants, hundreds of thousands in post-program scholarships and awards, growth in academic rigor and expertise, and exceptional graduate school placement. Students can work in ANY area of the humanities and many past students have been general studies students. This program provides students with a team of mentors and a student-centered experience focused on research modeling and collaboration. Students’ projects are completely individual and customized to their interests; they do not need to have a topic prior to entering the program, as they will spend the first two weeks developing their topics. In addition to the application, students will enter an interview round before final selection. Applications are online now through February 15, 2022 and are open to any current community college students with an interest in research in the humanities. Please see the  website for more information, including two videos produced by previous years’ participants detailing the impact of the program.

MIT Summer Research Programs (MSRP)

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Summer Research Program - General (MSRP) seeks to promote the value of graduate education, to improve the research enterprise through increased diversity, and to prepare and recruit the best and brightest for graduate education at MIT. To this end, MIT offers summer programs for undergraduate students to spend a summer on MIT’s campus, working on research under the guidance of experienced MIT faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, and advanced graduate students.  Students specifically interested in gaining research experience in Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Chemical Biology or Neuroscience, including Cognitive & Computational Neuroscience should apply directly to MSRP Bio/BCS.  Those interested in any other department should apply to MSRP General.  Applications open in November and close at dates in January.  Please visit for eligibility criteria, frequently asked questions, and more information. To apply, go to the application website.

Undergraduate Student Internships at Los Alamos National Lab

The Undergraduate Student Internship Program (UGS) at Los Alamos National Lab is a year-round internship program that provides domestic and international students with relevant research experience while they are pursuing an undergraduate degree. This internship program is designed to complement the students' education with work experience related to their chosen field of study. There are appointments in both the technical and professional fields.  For details, see . 

Undergraduate Student Internships at Sandia National Labs

Undergraduate Internships, co-ops, summer research programs and other opportunities are also available year-round at Sandia National Lab locations in Albuquerque and Livermore, California. Sandia National Labs conduct a myriad of research projects in science and technology that are relevant to national security.  Eligibility is limited to U.S. citizens.  For details, see .